"In 2010, California enacted education legislation known as the “parent trigger.” The legislation empowers parents of children at schools that have failed to meet annual yearly progress for at least four years to change the administration, convert the school to a charter, or shut it down completely if they gather signatures from at least 51% of parents at the school. Similar legislation exists in Mississippi and Connecticut, but has failed to become law in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, and Maryland. Parents at McKinley Elementary in Compton Unified – a school that only met yearly progress once in the last eight years –were the first in the nation to “pull the trigger” and remain the sole group to do so to date. As a result of their action, the State of California required the district to hire a “direct assistance intervention team,” and later, an attempt by parents to convert the school to a charter was rebuffed by the school district on technical grounds. A case is currently pending in Los Angeles Superior Court. Many school reformers believe that this law puts the interests of children ahead of teachers and helps to save children in failing schools before the clock runs out. Many education professionals, among them the president of the California Federation of Teachers, view the law as a “lynch mob provision,” intended to dismantle the public school system. The politics of the “parent trigger” are confusing,..."
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